Everything in me wants to lash out. I feel it in the core of my soul. Emotions have been building, my peace of mind is waning, my efforts to push down what I really think and how I really feel are being tested. I fear an explosion. The kind where I just let it all out and let the injustices be known!
This season has stretched me in ways I didn’t think were possible. The things I thought were established in me, about me, suddenly feel lost, forgotten and unnoticed. I don’t feel heard. I don’t feel appreciated or valued or respected for what I bring to the proverbial table; or literally the one in the boardroom. And now I’m growing irritated because it’s clear as I type that this attempt to express myself sounds very much like whining and this whole post is turning into a very bad diary entry.
Geez. What’s the saying, “confession, good for the soul, bad for the reputation”?
But, I know I’m not alone. Surely, you’ve felt these same things, too?
So here’s my temptation (it’s ridiculous; brace yourself): I want to gather up all the folks who are giving me headaches and lay out my resume`. I want my employees, my customers, my business partners, my fellow board members and committeemen, my students and heck, my husband and my children to sit down and listen to MY story. What I want is for them to understand me. I want them to honor my experience, my accomplishments, my heart and my strengths. I’m more than happy to confess my weaknesses, so long as they get the picture. Feel me? I want to be in charge and I deserve it.
Can you imagine this meeting? I’m actually cringing and feeling a little sick at the thought.
Couple of major problems here. One, most of what I feel is likely untrue. In reality, I am respected and valued, but there are times when things don’t go my way or at my pace and I lose patience. The control freak in me raises her ugly head and my pride rises like a tidal wave drowning my spirit. I could let it all out and get the attention I desire, but likely not the outcomes. At all.
Problem two: it (whatever “it” is, is not about ME.) It’s pretty disgusting and disappointing to even read those first three paragraphs. Who is this person?! As a Christian, my flesh should be obliterated by now. If you count all the “my and I” statements, it’s, well, bad. Listening to a sermon this week, the pastor spoke about the underlying issue with bragging or asserting ourselves so that people “see” us. He said bragging is really a symptom of feeling insecure or inadequate. Ouch. Obviously laying out my resume and giving people all the “highlights” of the last 20 years would be outright boastful and a desperate attempt to elevate myself, for myself, for my own security and confidence.
This is probably one of the most awkward and awful confessions I’ve ever made, but I need to spill it. The pastor's words were like a punch to my gut. When did I start relying on myself so much? Why is there any part of me that thinks I’m capable of impossible things? Who do I think I am? How many times am I going to have to confess my pride and repent of this nonsense?
Time for a reset.
As I type this, there’s a purple 4x6 index card on my refrigerator with the honest truth written in red ink. It’s been there for two years. Just 8 feet away the scripture is screaming;
“If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.” Galatians 6:3.
All I have to do is look up to see it.
Letting the truth wash over me…again…hurts. It is hard when we feel people are being unfair. But the old adage is true; everytime I point a finger at someone else, three are pointing back at me.
The Bible teaches that God resists or pushes back against the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humility is not thinking less of oneself, but thinking of oneself less. The reality is I am nothing apart from Christ. Every single ounce of me knows it. Everything I have is because He has given it, by His grace and from His hand. And everything I have He could take away. Thinking about me, me, me is such a slap in His holy face. His Spirit grieves. So does mine.
How often, friends, are we deceived? We think we’ve really done something, become something and therefore deserve something when the God’s honest truth is we are nothing. It is God who sustains, orchestrates, gives, provides and builds. Him alone.
So, I close with a repentant heart and genuine gratitude for a chance to start fresh.
Maybe you need a reset too? Let’s pray.
God, rightfully remove me from the throne of my own heart and put Jesus back in place. Forgive me. Make me whatever you want me to be. Thank you for the truth and the way it sets us free.